An expert from the Dutch-based construction company ‘Greenfield’ has arrived in Somali capital Mogadishu to install Somalia’s old soccer facility ‘stadium Banadir’ with an artificial football Turf under the FIFA-funded project WIN IN AFRICA WITH AFRICA which Somalia is one of the last countries to benefit from according to SFF secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab.
The Dutch technical expert Mr. Lex Vander and Somali Football Federation officials including secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab and executive committee member Ali Abdi Mohamed inaugurated the artificial Turf installation process during a small ceremony at the under construction facility on Saturday.
Expert Lex vander arrived in Somali capital on Friday where secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab and other leading SFF officials received him at Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International airport.
“Today we are here to check the basement and see what has been done so far and we will then start the installation process of the Turf—according to my schedule the installation will finalize by December 20th” noted the expert who had already fixed many football facilities in Africa.
Somali Football federation officials, the East African modern engineering company ‘EMECO’ which has the local sub contract and Expert Lex Vander held a lengthy meeting at the under construction facility during which they discussed the process which the SFF officials said must be concluded on time.
“The construction work must come to an end in the weeks’ time that Mr. Vander mentioned—we cannot accept that the process get beyond the schedule—FIFA and SFF want to have the stadium shaped with the Turf by the 20th of December” secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab told the meeting.
Mr Arab said that after the expert has fixed the carpet by the time EMECO will start the second face of the work which include the construction of VIP part of the stadium, a large building that will be used for accommodating the national team, offices of the federation and other key parts.
He added that the VIP position will be two parts, one will host the country’s top leaders like the president, the prime minister and the SFF president or if the world’s football governing body officials arrive in Somalia in the future while, the second VIP position will be for other governmental officials.
“Somali Football Federation is fully welcoming the step by the international football governing body FIFA which was always committed to developing football in this war-devastated Somalia—FIFA and SFF had long dreamt to see the Somali local league being played at international style stadium and that will come as soon as possible” the secretary General said in a press statement after the installation process started Saturday.
He said that Somali Football Federation hopes to host international matches at home by next year, but added that will come if the security situation in the country develops.
“The SFF is pledging to help the expert and the local company EMECO to give them all possible assistances to facilitate them accomplish their job well and complete it on time” Secretary General Abdi Qani Said Arab explained in his statement.
Due to armed confrontations in Somali capital the construction process halted late in 2009 after Islamist militants seized the stadium and surrounding areas and looted all building materials there. The job was done by 50% at that time, but everything started from ground zero again.
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin Abokar